Tuesday Night Takeover

Diseased Vermin Proliferate Pauper EDH

Disease is my natural enemy.

Art:Diseased Vermin by Scott Kirschner

Diseased Vermin is a very weird and very fun casual commander who creates infection counters, not infect! While we are a deck focusing on infect and proliferation we have a pretty sweet commander who can be a strong source of damage while we get our infect board established. Due to our commander having to hit opponents to be effective, we have quite a few ways to make them harder to block, like Fear and Cloak of the Bat. We have a Voltron subtheme that allows us to perform one-shots with poison counters and helps our commander get more and more infection counters. We are an infect deck through and through, with quite a few proliferation effects and a ton of additional damage from our commander; this deck also focuses heavily on classic elements of mono-black, like intimidate and fear, as well as an absolute ton of removal. This deck is purely for fun and focuses on showcasing a fun and interesting commander who gets almost no love; in checking both PDHREC and Moxfield, I could not find anyone using this commander, so it is a true 1/1. This deck is a blast, at least for us, as infect will certainly not make us the most popular player at the table, and I hope you enjoy this! If you put together a list for this sweet commander, we would love to see it!

The Deck:

Click here to copy full decklist to your clipboard!

Diseased Vermin Proliferate!

Commander (1)
Diseased Vermin

Creatures (20)
Shadow Alley Denizen
Vector Asp
Blightbelly Rat
Cuombajj Witches
Ichorclaw Myr
Pestilent Syphoner
Swamp Mosquito
Audacious Thief
Contagious Nim
Phyrexian Digester
Pit Scorpion
Stinging Hivemaster
Blackcleave Goblin
Corpse Cur
Sheoldred’s Headcleaver
Vicious Battlerager
Gulping Scraptrap
Scourge Servant
Troll of Khazad-dum

Instants (14)
Aphotic Wisps
Cast Down
Doom Blade
Ebony Charm
Funeral Charm
Grasp of Darkness
Grim Affliction
Snuff Out
Virulent Wound
Vraska’s Fall
Whisper of the Dross

Sorceries (6)
Forever Young
Infectious Inquiry
Night’s Whisper
Read the Bones
Sign in Blood
Spread the Sickness

Artifacts (15)
Golem-Skin Gauntlets
Leather Armor
Skyblinder Staff
Armory of Iroas
Charcoal Diamond
Cloak of the Bat
Spare Supplies
Thieves’ Tools
Tithing Blade
Vorrac Battlehorns
Wedding Invitation
Bonder’s Ornament
Phyrexian Atlas
Whispersilk Cloak

Enchantments (9)
Gruesome Deformity
Kaya’s Ghostform
Vampiric Link
Sinister Strength
Relic Putrescence
Shade’s Form
Lands (35)
Barren Moor
Escape Tunnel
Evolving Wilds
Polluted Mire
29 Swamp
Terramorphic Expanse
The Dross Pits

Buy This Deck!

Buy this deck using our TCGPlayer Affiliate Link: Diseased Vermin Proliferate Pauper EDH

Why Diseased Vermin?

Diseased Vermin is a great card for us and a great way to put some additional pressure on our opponents. Diseased Vermin can come down decently early and with the help of some of our Voltron cards and a few other cards in our deck we are able to hit opponents with ease and stack up Infection Counters, which we can easily proliferate and turn Diseased Vermin into a true problem, we also have a couple of ways to protect our commander from removal like Kaya's Ghostform and Shade's Form. Diseased Vermin is a fun and flavorful commander for this deck.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


While a good majority of our creatures are all focused on toxic and infection, we do have a couple that aren’t, and they provide a ton of value, like Audacious Thief; they are an amazing source of supplemental card draw for the deck and are a great blocker as well. Vicious Battlerager is by far the best blocker in our deck and is an absolute powerhouse against aggressive or token-based strategies. Now, of course, we have a ton of infect creatures like Ichorclaw Myr and Corpse Cur as well as some strong infect and toxic creatures that provide a lot of value like Gulping Scraptrap which is a pain for our opponents to deal with if they decide to try and remove it. While toxic is worse than infect especially when it comes to buffs we still have some very strong toxic creatures like Sheoldred's Headcleaver as the menace helps a ton and makes us hard to deal with. All of our infect creatures get much better when combined with Shadow Alley Denizen, which, against non-artifact focused or mono-black decks, can be devastating and allow us to dominate a game quite easily.


Our instant package has a lot going on, we have some strong ways to make our commander unblockable like Aphotic Wisps and Breach which is great against a ton of decks, now both of these cards are great but can be a little weak if we are against a table with a ton of other black decks but hey overall these cards are pretty strong. We have a ton of removal, which is a great way to stop and slow down our opponents; this emphasis on removal allows us to keep all of our opponents at bay for a pretty cheap mana investment. We also have some strong ways to give opponents additional poison counters like Whisper of the Dross and Vraska's Fall, which are both great sources of removal and help us a ton with the overall gameplan. Our instant package provides us an absolute ton of utility and allows us to be more effective at stopping our opponents while continuing the overall game plan.


We are pretty weak to board clears like Evincar's Justice or Arms of Hadar so while we can stop this we can help put our board back together with Forever Young which is one of the few sources of recursion we have within the deck. Spread the Sickness is a very expensive piece of removal, but it is absolutely worth it since we can proliferate, and with only a little bit of a board setup, the proliferate can matter an absolute ton. The rest of our sorcery package consists of supplemental card draw, and the most interesting piece is Infectious Inquiry, which is a great piece of card draw and, more importantly, gives each opponent a poison counter, which can help get the gameplan started or if its late-game kill an opponent.


We are running a mini-Voltron package as our subtheme, this not only helps us support our commander and allow us to get infection counters on our opponents it makes pretty much all of our creatures better, and with cards like Golem-Skin Gauntlets and Armory of Iroas it can help us put more and more counters on and allows us to one-shot opponents at various points throughout the game. Cloak of the Bat and Skyblinder Staff make our commander and creatures much more evasive, which is great to increase those counters on our opponents. While our artifact is focused heavily on equipment we do have a decent mana rock package with format staples like Bonder's Ornament and Charcoal Diamond which help us speed out our board and gameplan and Bonders can be a great mid-late game source of card draw.


Fear is one of my favorite enchantments in the deck since it can be cast quite early like our commander and works perfectly with them, and allows our opponents to start getting more and more infection counters. Shade's Form and Sinister Strength are also great enchantments, but due to the nature of the deck, I tend to put these on our more evasive infect creatures so we can accelerate the poison counters and take out our opponents quicker. Almost all of our creatures have infect, but I love putting Phyresis on our commander; giving poison counters and infection counters is not only strong but a huge flavor win. There are few Pauper EDH decks that don’t run at least a couple of artifacts, so we can take advantage of that with Relic Putrescence which is a great way to passively infect our opponent and bring them closer to the brink of death on every turn, I typically put these on mana rocks for the most value. Oubliette is a format staple for a reason and is one of my favorite ways to take out the best of the best creatures our opponents have, great for annoying commanders as well.

Land Base:

Escape Tunnel is one of my favorite lands in the deck because, in the early game, we can use it to make our commander unblockable and guarantee an infection counter, which only gets more and more out-of-hand as the game goes on. Since we are a mono-black deck, we almost entirely have swamps, it’s nice that the landbase is nice and simple as beyond getting mana-screwed there isn’t really that much that can go wrong, and we do not worry at all about getting all of our colors established. In addition to the supplemental card draw within the deck, we also have some in our land base like The Dross Pits and Polluted Mire which are great ways to draw extra cards and if we draw the land in the mid-late game. I like our landbase a lot and think it works quite well for the deck.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Because of the makeup of our deck, our opponents start the game at ten in life.
  • Even if we cannot proliferate on certain turns and the infect game plan is going slow, we will be able to deal with a decent amount of damage with our commander.
  • We have an absolute ton of removal in our deck, which allows us to take out most of the threats our opponents have.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • We don’t have very much recursion, so mass board wipes like Evincar's Justice can be a little tough for us to play through.
  • We do have a lot of strong creatures, but most of their stats are not very impressive, which makes us quite weak if an opponent has a decent board and can block, this is of course helped by some of our cards that make our creatures harder to block but in certain situations can be bad.
  • We can struggle against control strategies, especially when we are unable to resolve evasion pieces like Cloak of the Bat.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck; we are a combat deck that focuses on getting poison counters on our opponents early, as well as infection counters from our commander to have a consistent output of damage and be able to put a ton of pressure on our opponents is great. We have a ton of ways to proliferate both poison and infection counters with cards like Whisper of the Dross and Grim Affliction as well as standard creatures like Contagious Nim and Ichorclaw Myr which help us speed up the gameplan. Our commander can be a great source of damage and really hurt our opponents when we start to proliferate the counters. We are quite strong in combat and out of combat and we are great at putting pressure on our opponents.


Diseased Vermin is a weird and interesting commander who thematically fits perfectly into an infect deck; this deck certainly isn’t the most optimized, and, while decently strong, is just for fun and just a showcase of if we could vs if we should. Infect will not make you the most popular player out there, but it is guaranteed to be some fun, at least for you. I love this deck a lot, but it is something I typically along bring out against certain types of tables, as it can feel overpowered against lower-power decks. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!